7th Annual Reno Uke Fest - Dominator & Jon Pauling
Hats off to Doug Reynolds for putting on another Fantastic Ukulele Festival at the Nugget in Sparks, Nevada. Here is our performance in the Celebrity Showroom as part of the "Lost Ed Sullivan Show".
Special thanks to Jon Pauling for stepping in on short notice to provide support on guitar.
Crosscurrent - Out of Bounds Brewing Company
Most of you have seen me perform this song solo in the past. However, I'm really enjoying playing this arrangement with my 4-piece band. This video was captured at our debut performance at Out of Bounds Brewing Company in Rocklin, CA. We look forward to playing there again soon.
Dono dal Cielo 11th Anniversary
I got a last minute gig at Dono dal Cielo for Saturday, April 27 from 2-5pm. I recently played at their 11th Year Anniversary party with Steve Skidgel. Here is a little bit of Daniel Ho's "Pineapple Mango".
Kalei Gamiao - The Unknown - Video Tutorial - Part 5
Things have been crazy busy lately with the Ukulelestar contest and my company Leadership Conference followed by my performance at the premiere of Jake’s Documentary Film at the Castro Theater in San Francisco. However, I took some time last evening to record the 5th installment of the tutorial series for Kalei Gamiao’s “The Unknown”.
Next weekend (March 30 - April 1) is the 4th Annual Reno/Tahoe Ukulele Festival where I will be teaching my “Stress Free Soling” Workshop and performing on the festival stage as well as the Celebrity Ballroom stage on Saturday evening. I will try to get the final video for this tutorial completed sometime next week. If not, it will have to wait until after the Reno festival.
If you’ve been working on the previous 4 videos you should be ready to tackle this one. We are almost there. Take your time and most of all, have fun with it.
Kalei Gamiao - The Unknown - Video Tutorial
Over the past several weeks I’ve had more than my share of requests for Kalei Gamiao’s “The Unknown” which was recorded during one of the episodes of HiSessions. The crew at HiSessions is producing some really hi quality videos of an ever growing number of artists.
Kalei has blossomed into such a great ukulele player over the past few years. When I saw him the first time several years ago he was fantastic but now he has reached another couple of levels. Similar to Jake, not only is he a gifted musician but he is also a very humble and gracious human being. I know he’s working on new songs for his upcoming CD and I’m assuming the Unknown will make the list.
I’m planning to put a tab together but I decided to do a video tutorial to document the process as I learn the song. This way you can get started learning the song along with me.
I get loads of emails with people asking me for specific strum patterns to many of the songs I have in the tab archive or in my videos. The fact is, I rarely think about what strum pattern I’m playing when jamming or playing a song. You need to have a good sense of rhythm and timing and with experience this becomes natural. You can play the exact strum pattern but if you don’t have good a sense of timing and don’t change the chords at the correct time then it’s all for nothing because the playing won’t sound “musical”. On the other hand you can play a much different strum pattern and flow through the progression with good timing, making all the chord changes at the appropriate times, and your playing will sound great and you make it your own.
Therefore, for the purposes of this video tutorial series I’m going to assume those that want to tackle this song already have some basic skills under their belts and can improvise their own strum patterns. I will present some of the basic patterns but I won’t be going into great detail. The patterns I do present will be those I’m playing and most certainly won’t be exactly what Kalei is playing.
Kalei does use a unique strumming technique on many of his songs including The Unknown. Ukulele Underground member ItsAMeCasey has put together a mini-tutorial on the Kalei Gamiao Strum. I recommend that you click the link to the left and view this tutorial. It will help to prepare you for this song.
I will edit this post and put the new videos here as I complete them.
A Chance to Open for Jake Shimabukuro at the Asian American Film Festival
Hey everybody, I just found out about a contest being held by the Center for Asian American Media (CAAM). The winner will get to open for Jake Shimabukuro and perform one song at the Asian American Film Festival coming up in March.
Jake has been a major source of inspiration along my ukulele journey and this is most likely one of those once in a lifetime kind of opportunities. Another cool thing about this particular contest is that it requires the participants to play a song composed by Jake himself. So this eliminates his great covers such as While My Guitar Gently Weeps, Going to California and Bohemian Rhapsody. I was really torn between choosing a softer, mellower, song or one of his more aggressive compositions. In the end I chose to do an up-tempo song called Crosscurrent.
This is my video entry. The judges will narrow the field down to the top five videos and then it will be up to you to cast your vote and help pick the winner. If I make the finals I hope I can count on you all for your support. It may be a long shot but the way I look at it you’re never too old to keep the dream alive.
Beatles - Blackbird (Abe Lagrimas, Jr Arrangement)
Blackbird is one of my favorite Beatles tunes. Not sure when I'll be able to get to it but I do plan to put a tab together based on this video.
Tahoe Area Ukulele Festival - 2011
The 3rd Annual Tahoe Area Ukulele Festival is in the books. What a great weekend (aside from the relentless snowfall) of ukulele fun. I made some new friendships and had the privelage of sharing the stage with a number of musicians for the first time including Kris Fuchigami, Brook Adams, Hiram Bell and Daniel Ho.
Kris Fuchigami opened the Friday night concert in the Celebrity Showroom and was absolutely fantastic. This kid is going to be unstoppable and soon to be playing huge venues around the globe. Daniel Ho was the headliner for the Friday night concert and was also fantastic.
The Saturday night concert was another wonderful evening of ukulele bliss. Matt Dahlberg opened the show and even though he was suffering from pneumonia he managed to stay focused and deliver a commanding performance including his amazing arrangement of Bon Jovi's "Living on a Prayer". Matt also brought Kris out to join him on a high powered version of "Bodysurfing" that brought the house down.
The only downside to this year's festival was the 8 1/2 hour drive home due to the non-stop snowfall in the Sierras.
Here's a short video of Kris Fuchigami and myself jamming on Jake Shimabukuro's "Grandmas Groove". I hope I get the opportunity to jam with him again in the future.
Dominator Meets the Revinator
Well folks, things have been super hectic this year and this is my first update for 2011. Lil’ Rev was in town on his west coast tour. He taught a strumming workshop at Northridge Music in Citrus Heights and then we spent the next evening talking story and decided to put a couple of videos together.
Both of these songs are featured on Lil’ Rev’s Drop Baby Drop CD available through his website at Lil’ Rev dot com.
We had a great time. Hope you enjoy the tunes.